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Why It Took Mankind So Long to Invent the Wheel

Why It Took Mankind So Long to Invent the Wheel | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

The tricky thing about the wheel is not conceiving of a cylinder rolling on its edge. It's figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that cylinder. Wheels are the archetype of a primitive, caveman-level technology. But in fact, they're so ingenious that it took until 3500 B.C. for someone to invent them. By that time — it was the Bronze Age — humans were already casting metal alloys, constructing canals and sailboats, and even designing complex musical instruments such as harps.

 

 

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Many billions of rocky planets in habitable zones around red dwarfs in Milky Way

Many billions of rocky planets in habitable zones around red dwarfs in Milky Way | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A new result from ESO's HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. The international team estimates that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun's immediate neighbourhood. This is the first direct measurement of the frequency of super-Earths around red dwarfs, which account for 80% of the stars in the Milky Way.

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Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists

Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions are becoming common, with BP oil pollution believed to be the likely cause.
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Brain Tumor Vaccine Against Glioblastoma Shows Promise in Early Trial

Brain Tumor Vaccine Against Glioblastoma Shows Promise in Early Trial | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A vaccine made from brain cancer patients' own tumor cells led to a nearly 50 percent improvement in survival times for those stricken with glioblastoma multiforme, the same malignancy that claimed the life of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, a new study suggests. A phase 2 multicenter trial of about 40 patients with recurrent glioblastoma -- an aggressive brain cancer that typically kills patients within 15 months of diagnosis -- showed that the vaccine safely increased average survival to nearly 48 weeks, compared with about 33 weeks among patients who didn't receive the treatment. The six-month survival rate was 93 percent for the vaccinated group, compared with 68 percent for 86 other glioblastoma patients, who were treated with other therapies.

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NextGen Sequencing now aimed at Clinical Medicine

NextGen Sequencing now aimed at Clinical Medicine | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Fast forwarding to the near future and based on the recent past, sequencing instrument companies will continue to develop more user-friendly and cheaper technology, focused on the benchtop and clinical markets. Manufacturers will also continue to form partnerships and make acquisitions that place heavy bets on completely novel, potentially disruptive sequencing technologies.

 

By far the largest market opportunity, though, is in emerging applications of personal genomics and clinical diagnostics. These segments are expected to account for $541 million by 2015 from $15.5 million in 2010, representing a CAGR of 103.5%.

 

Recent advancements in the field of next-generation sequencing have resulted in the advent of so-called personal genome machines (PGMs), smaller-scale, benchtop genome sequencers marketed by Illumina (MiSeq), Life Technologies (Ion Torrent), and Roche 454 (GS Junior). Companies like Diagnomics ( http://www.diagnomics.com ) provide sophisticated annotation.

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Gamma-Rays Prove Space-Time Is Smooth

After 7 billion years of travel, high and low energy photons arrive at NASA's Fermi spacecraft a mere 900ms apart, suggesting that space-time isn't the bubbly foam of quantum theory but seems closer to Einstein's smooth rubbery membrane.

 

Articles about ASTRONOMY: http://www.scoop.it/t/science-news?tag=astronomy

 


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Breakdown of white-matter affects decisionmaking as we age

Breakdown of white-matter affects decisionmaking as we age | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
A Vanderbilt University brain-mapping study has found that people’s ability to make decisions in novel situations decreases with age and is associated with a reduction in the integrity of two specific white-matter pathways.

 

The pathways connect an area in the cerebral cortex called the medial prefrontal cortex (involved with decision making) with two other areas deeper in the brain: the thalamus (a highly connected relay center in the brain) and ventral striatum (associated with the emotional and motivational aspects of behavior).
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Did Humans Invent Music?

Did Humans Invent Music? | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Did Neanderthals sing? Is there a "music gene"? Two scientists debate whether our capacity to make and enjoy songs comes from biological evolution or from the advent of civilization.

 

Music is everywhere, but it remains an evolutionary enigma. In recent years, archaeologists have dug up prehistoric instruments, neuroscientists have uncovered brain areas that are involved in improvisation, and geneticists have identified genes that might help in the learning of music. Yet basic questions persist: Is music a deep biological adaptation in its own right, or is it a cultural invention based mostly on our other capacities for language, learning, and emotion? And if music is an adaptation, did it really evolve to promote mating success as Darwin thought, or other for benefits such as group cooperation or mother-infant bonding?

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New treatment for prostate cancer gives 'perfect results' for 9 in 10 men

New treatment for prostate cancer gives 'perfect results' for 9 in 10 men | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
It is hoped the new treatment, which involves heating only the tumours with a highly focused ultrasound, will mean men can be treated without an overnight stay in hospital and avoiding the distressing side effects associated with current therapies.

 

A study has found that focal HIFU, high-intensity focused ultrasound, provides the 'perfect' outcome of no major side effects and free of cancer 12 months after treatment, in nine out of ten cases. Traditional surgery or radiotherapy can only provide the perfect outcome in half of cases currently.

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Delivery begins for first units of Raspberry Pi’s $35 Linux computer

Delivery begins for first units of Raspberry Pi’s $35 Linux computer | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
he Raspberry Pi foundation has started shipping units of the much-anticipated $35 Linux computer. The organization has already started handing out the first units and conducting educational seminars with students. The Raspberry Pi foundation was originally established with the goal of producing low-cost computers that students could use to learn computer programming. The project later attracted the interest of Linux users and embedded computing enthusiasts. The launch product is a bare board that is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards with a 700MHz ARM11 CPU and 256MB of RAM.
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Molecular catalyzer for water into oxygen developed

Molecular catalyzer for water into oxygen developed | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Scientists in Sweden have developed a molecular catalyser with the ability to quickly oxidise water to oxygen. Presented in the journal Nature Chemistry, the results are a significant contribution to the future use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources, especially since gasoline prices continue to soar.
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Novel chemical reaction

Novel chemical reaction | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Watson and his team in the University of Delaware Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a chemical reaction that converts carbon-hydrogen bonds to carbon-silicon bonds using the metal palladium as a catalyst, yielding an important new tool for building molecules. The potential industrial applications are broad, ranging from the manufacture of medicines to plastics.

 

Technically speaking, a mild, palladium-catalyzed reaction that converts the carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond of an alkene to a carbon-silicon (C-Si) bond. It is analogous to the Heck Reaction, which converts the carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds to carbon-carbon (C-C) bonds.

 

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To understand means to perceive patterns

Networks are everywhere. The brain is a network of nerve cells connected by axons, and cells themselves are networks of molecules connected by biochemical reactions. Societies, too, are networks of people linked by friendships, familial relationships and professional ties. On a larger scale, food webs and ecosystems can be represented as networks of species. And networks pervade technology: the Internet, power grids and transportation systems are but a few examples. Even the language we are using to convey these thoughts to you is a network, made up of words connected by syntactic relationships.

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Dinosaurs grew large to outpace their young

Dinosaurs grew large to outpace their young | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Some dinosaurs grew to gigantic sizes to avoid competition from their own young, rather than to take advantage of abundant oxygen, high temperatures and large territorial ranges, say two studies. But their largeness may also have proved their undoing.

 

Some have argued that dinosaurs were able to grow quickly and fuel large bodies when temperatures were warm, oxygen levels were high, and land masses such as the supercontinent Gondwana provided abundant living space.

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Infant galaxy offers tantalizing peek at early Universe

Infant galaxy offers tantalizing peek at early Universe | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Astronomers are claiming a new benchmark in the quest to see the Universe’s first galaxies. By taking advantage of a rare cosmic zoom lens — in which the gravity of a large mass magnifies light from objects in the distant background — a team of researchers has spotted a galaxy so remote that its light was emitted just 490 million years after the Big Bang, when the Universe was a mere 3.6% of its present age.

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On April 16th happened the most visually-spectacular solar flare in years

On April 16th happened the most visually-spectacular solar flare in years | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Magnetic fields on the sun's northeastern limb erupted around 17:45 UT on April 16th, producing one of the most visually-spectacular explosions in years. The explosion, which registered M1.7 on the Richter Scale of solar flares, was not Earth-directed, but it did hurl a CME into space. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have analyzed the trajectory of the cloud and found that it will hit NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft, the Spitzer space telescope, and the rover Curiosity en route to Mars. Planets Venus and Mars could also receive a glancing blow.

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High-resolution dose–response screening using droplet-based microfluidics

High-resolution dose–response screening using droplet-based microfluidics | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A critical early step in drug discovery is the screening of a chemical library. Typically, promising compounds are identified in a primary screen and then more fully characterized in a dose–response analysis with 7–10 data points per compound. Recently, at team of scientists have introduced a robust microfluidic approach that increases the number of data points to approximately 10,000 per compound. The system exploits Taylor–Aris dispersion to create concentration gradients, which are then segmented into picoliter microreactors by droplet-based microfluidics. The large number of data points results in IC50 values that are highly precise (± 2.40% at 95% confidence) and highly reproducible (CV = 2.45%, n = 16). In addition, the high resolution of the data reveals complex dose–response relationships unambiguously.

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Memristors for Neural Networks and Synapses (5nm and 3D)

Memristors for Neural Networks and Synapses (5nm and 3D) | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Hybrid reconfigurable logic circuits were fabricated by integrating memristor-based crossbars onto a foundry-built CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) platform using nanoimprint lithography, as well as materials and processes that were compatible with the CMOS. Titanium dioxide thin-film memristors served as the configuration bits and switches in a data routing network and were connected to
gate-level CMOS components that acted as logic elements, in a manner similar to a field programmable gate array.

 

Memristors Symposium [VIDEO]: http://tinyurl.com/86lvkv5

 

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Lifespan of rats nearly doubles under fullerene diet with no toxicity

Lifespan of rats nearly doubles under fullerene diet with no toxicity | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Paris and colleagues fed the molecule fullerene (C60 or “buckyballs”) dissolved in olive oil to rats and found it almost doubles their lifespan, with no chronic toxicity. The results suggest that the effect of C60, an antioxidant, on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress, according to the researchers.

 

Since 1993, countless studies showed that fullerene (C60) and derivatives exhibit paramount potentialities in several fields of biology and medicine, mainly including specific DNA cleavage, imaging, UV and radioprotection, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-amyloid activities, allergic response and angiogenesis inhibitions, immune stimulating and antitumor effects, enhancing effect on neurite outgrowth, gene delivery, and even hair-growing activity, a summary in the Biomaterials paper stated.

 

Here is the original paper:

http://extremelongevity.net/wp-content/uploads/C60-Fullerene.pdf

 

Ref.: Baati T, et al., The prolongation of the lifespan of rats by repeated oral administration of [60]fullerene, Biomaterials (2012), doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.03.036

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Drugged Honeybees Do Time Warps

Drugged Honeybees Do Time Warps | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Waking up from surgery can be disorienting. One minute you're in an operating room counting backwards from 10, the next you're in the recovery ward sans appendix, tonsils, or wisdom teeth. And unlike getting up from a good night's sleep, where you know that you've been out for hours, waking from anesthesia feels like hardly any time has passed. Now, thanks to the humble honeybee (Apis mellifera), scientists are starting to understand this sense of time loss. New research shows that general anesthetics disrupt the social insect's circadian rhythm, or internal clock, delaying the onset of timed behaviors such as foraging and mucking up their sense of direction.
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Face recognition of emotions depends on culture

Face recognition of emotions depends on culture | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

A smile and a frown mean the same thing everywhere—or so say many anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists, who for more than a century have argued that all humans express basic emotions the same way. But a new study of people's perceptions of computer-generated faces suggests that facial expressions may not be universal and that our culture strongly shapes the way we read and express emotions.

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NASA shows new algae farming technique for biofuel production

NASA shows new algae farming technique for biofuel production | Amazing Science | Scoop.it

NASA is clearly looking far into the future for a way to handle both human waste and a need for fuel on either long space flights or when attempting to colonize another planet. To that end, they’ve assigned life support engineer Jonathan Trent the task of coming up with a way to use algae to solve both problems at once. His solution is to use plastic bags floating in seawater as small bioreactors, containing wastewater, sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow algae that can be used as a means to create biofuel.

 

Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA) is an innovative method to grow algae, clean wastewater, capture carbon dioxide and ultimately produce biofuel. Using treated sewage as a growth medium, OMEGA would not compete with agriculture for water, fertilizer or land. NASA’s OMEGA system consists of large flexible plastic tubes, called photobioreactors. Floating in seawater, the photobioreactors contain freshwater algae growing in wastewater. These algae are among the fastest growing plants on Earth.

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Diamond-based LEDs send single photon signals

Diamond-based LEDs send single photon signals | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Altering the structure of diamond has allowed researchers to construct a device capable of emitting single photons at room temperature for the first time.

 

Diamonds composed of pure carbon are insulators, but introducing impurities—a process known as doping—can allow diamond to conduct electricity. N. Mizuochi et al. combined three different types of doped diamonds into a diode, including one with a nitrogen atom in place of one of the carbon atoms and a gap where a second carbon ordinarily would sit. The doping altered the electronic structure of the diamond so that single photons are produced under the influence of an electric current. While the physical mechanism for producing light appears to be much like a light-emitting diode (LED), the details of the electronic structure and the generation of single photons mark the diamond material as truly novel.

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Nanosponges soak up oil spills

Nanosponges soak up oil spills | Amazing Science | Scoop.it
Researchers at Rice University and Penn State University have discovered that adding a dash of boron to carbon while creating nanotubes turns them into solid, spongy, reusable blocks that have an astounding ability to absorb oil spilled in water.

 

That's one of a range of potential innovations for the material created in a single step. The team found for the first time that boron puts kinks and elbows into the nanotubes as they grow and promotes the formation of covalent bonds, which give the sponges their robust qualities.

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Afterlife - Rapper Tupac rises from the dead for hologram show

Rapper Tupac Shakur died over 15 years ago in a drive-by shooting, but that didn't prevent him from performing at the Coachella music festival in California as a hologram. The virtual Tupac was put together by video technology firm AV Concepts with the help of James Cameron's visual effects company, Digital Domain. The hologram effect was created using a system developed by London-based Musion, which uses an advanced version of a 19th century magic trick called Pepper's ghost to make virtual images appear live on stage.

 

More information on this technology in the recent NewScientist issue:

http://tinyurl.com/72scz3k

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Michael Welker's curator insight, November 11, 2013 2:07 PM

Once again, great technology but an awful idea. It's just not right, espeacially for musicians. It's their music that they poured their soul into, and its not even real any more.